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Jean van de Velde
DIE WOLKE (The Cloud) is about a breakdown of a nuclear power station in Germany and the story of two teenager-lovers Hannah and Elmar who take refuge. 38.000 people die and Hannah unfortunately becomes contaminated.
A 24 hours ceasefire. The situation in Falluja is devastating- no food, no medications, no help. A group of five people sets out with the plan to help- they end up fighting for the lives of the helpless and wounded and eventually - their own. Written by
First of all, I have to say, that I am German like the director Lancelot von Naso and tired of the small typical" German talking heads movies". So I really was looking forward to this interesting Idea of placing a German action/road movie story in the post war Iraq setting. But first: it was hard to find a cinema to watch this movie on a 35mm copy, even it was two weeks after the release; so finally, I ended up sitting in a tiny basement theater and was viewing a DVD. And second: I have to admit that during the whole film, you feel that it's a low budget movie. But, on the other hand, considering the 1.7 mio Euro budget it's amazing who they managed to create that threatening 2004 Bagdad atmosphere in Morocco.
The story sounds like a classic: After the US-bombing of Falludscha the village is totally cut off of the rest of the country and the medical help is running out of equipment. An experienced but tired, morphium addict doctor, a young, very engaged female doctor, two buddy journalists and their local driver team up and risk their life to deliver medicine with a small bus from Bagdad. It could have been a very suspenseful odyssey thru the chaotic, vast country but the story never finds it's pace. The acting and writing sometimes changes from acceptable to awfully amateurish. And almost all characters are missing some development ... except for one of them, what makes the movie at least watchable and entertaining in the end.
Compared to other German movies (I rather leave out an international comparison) the editing and camera-work have some cool, cinematic approaches but it also has some negative similarities to other German movies; which is the lack of a certain, artistic style and point of view. It always seems that the filmmakers don't dare to use color correction, sound design and a deliberate visual concept. So everything from storytelling perspective to costume design and dramatic twists seems to be in the middle. It neither works as an action/adventure movie nor as a stylized, reduced, small character study.
But all in all, I appreciate the Idea and risky attempt this filmmakers brought to the screen an I hope there will be more daring German productions like this. I know how difficult this is.
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